Welcome to our third Monthly Dinner event of 2017. We are honoured to have Roy Nieuwenburg as our speaker. Last December Roy was recognized by being appointed a Queen's Counsel (QC) by the BC Lieutenant-Governor in Council on the recommendation of the BC Attorney General. Roy has been practicing law with Clark Wilson LLP since 1980 and is chair of its Infrastructure, Construction and Procurement Practice Group.
Q&A with Roy Nieuwenburg
Your career achievements and experiences cover a broad array. How would you summarize your career highlights into the person you are today?
I feel privileged to have been entrusted by so many people to be “part of the team” on their important projects. I find it all intensely interesting, and I am very grateful to have been introduced to a vast spectrum of work over the last 37 years.
How would you describe the feelings you have of being appointed the honorary title of Queen’s Counsel?
It has been immensely gratifying to be recognized in this way. This feeling has been magnified by all the good wishes and congratulations I have received from clients, my partners and lawyer colleagues, and staff at my firm.
What procurement challenges do you face and how do you overcome them?
Bottom line, it’s all about people, and the traits and skills they have and bring to the table. Getting good, proficient, reliable, conscientious people on board is key, and also inculcating a “problem solving” and “get it done” culture and attitude. If the traits, skills culture and attitude are there, then it is just a matter of rolling up your sleeves and bearing down on the task.
How do you keep large scale construction projects on-time and on-budget?
I make sure I do my part, in that I don’t drop the ball - but who are we kidding? We lawyers don’t keep the project on-time and on-budget. In my seminar material, I have a segment on the provisions and stipulations you want to incorporate in your contract documents to afford you the tools to push towards on-time and on-budget – but it comes down to the people (see previous answer) – those on the front line leading the charge and executing the tasks. I always think that getting the best people you can (even if you have to pay more) pays off in a big way.
I personally have developed a 37 acre shopping centre, which I hold as a retirement investment. All done on-time and on-budget. This focus on “the best people” has worked well for me.
Can you explain what your role as Director of the Canadian Forces Liaison Council encompasses?
The Canadian Forces Liaison Council (CFLC) promote and support Canada’s Reserve Force. Our Reserves are dedicated individuals who train for and stand ready to contribute to the defense of our country. As Director my role is to support their efforts and activities. One way this is done is to simply encourage employers to accommodate their need for leave for training and to be available to “answer the call” when engaged on missions.
What books have inspired you or ones that you have recommended most?
It’s timeless: “How to Win Friends & Influence People”, by Dale Carnegie. I listened to the audio CD’s many years ago, and later to my surprise found my children on their own began listening at bedtime. What a great subject for them to listen to!
How to Win Friends & Influence People, Dale Carnegie.
Do you have any particular morning routines?
If I don’t do my stretches for 15 minutes each morning I pay for it (pain in my neck, hunched over at my keyboard) in the afternoon.
Thank you Roy for taking the time to answer our questions and allowing us to get to know you better. We are looking forward to your presentation on infrastructure and procurement.
For anyone that is interested in learning more about the event Infrastructure, Procurement & Construction Seminar, Legal Issues and Practicalities for Project Managers or to register please click below.